Origins of Royal Maundy

Derwent Levick
Derwent Levick

Story: John Mellor

The origins of Royal Maundy go back a long way in history. King John was the first monarch recorded as giving alms to the poor at a Maundy service in 1210.

The word maundy itself derives from the Latin mandatum, or ‘command’, and relates to Jesus’ command to his disciples at the Last Supper to ‘love one another’. Jesus also washed the feet of his disciples before the meal, a duty usually performed by a servant.

This act of humility is symbolised in the Maundy ceremony by the Lord High Almoner wearing a towel around his waist.

Royal Maundy is also the only occasion on which the Queen travels to make awards rather than the recipients having to travel to Buckingham Palace.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Priya Blackham on 2015-03-23 13:23:05.
The content of the page was last modified by Douglas Johnson on 2015-04-10 08:15:17.

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